Retreat into the Passion of Jesus

One night, March 22-23.

Just in time to fully make the most of the Palm Sunday reading of the Passion!

Each year, the Palm Sunday and Good Friday liturgies feature a reading of the Passion of Jesus Christ. It’s a powerful and richly textured telling of the final hours of Jesus. It is also the core of the Gospel message and the foundation of the Christian faith.

This retreat is for those who want to make the most of these sacred liturgies in both understanding the historical context and reflecting upon the application to their own life. There will be a balanced blend of scriptural background, topics for reflection, and prayer.

There may be no better way to prepare to enter the holiest week of the year than to spend a day away learning about the final hours of the life of Jesus – what they meant then, and what they mean in your own life today.

Five Beautiful Reflections on the Passion

The retreat will give you five reflections on the Passion narrative in the gospel of Mark (14:1 – 15:47). The reflections will touch upon both the historical background and the theological significance of each passage. From this, you’ll better understand what they mean for today’s world and what they mean for your own life.

Setting the Stage

“She broke the alabaster jar and poured the costly perfumed oil on his head.” In Mark’s telling, the Passion narrative begins Bethany with the account of a woman who performs an extravagant act – the anointing of Jesus with expensive perfume. Learn how Mark uses this account as sort of a prologue to frame the entire passion narrative and a model to guide all followers of Jesus toward extravagant giving.

The Last Supper

“Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take it; this is my body.'” These words define our Christian faith are have been repeated throughout the centuries in our Eucharistic celebration. By learning more about the historical context, you’ll deepen your appreciation of this most sacred Sacrament by hearing these familiar words in the shadow of the betrayal, denial, arrest, crucifixion, and death of Jesus.


“Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” At Gethsemane, the disciples sleep while Jesus surrenders his will completely to the Father. “Across the centuries, it is the drowsiness of the disciples that opens up possibilities for the power of the Evil One.” (Pope Benedict XVI) What better way to stay alert and vigilant than to enter into the agony of Jesus at Gethsemane and ponder how you may surrender your will to His?

The Trial of Jesus

“Then Jesus answered, ‘I am.'” At that, the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further need have we of witnesses?” As Jesus was testifying before the council, Peter was in the background denying his association, “I do not know him.” The contrast illustrates a difficult choice many people have to make: fidelity to the truth which may lead to suffering, or cowardice which may lead to apparent safety. How might the trial of Jesus and all of its contradictions be playing out in your life?

The Crucifixion and Burial

“Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God.'” The testimony of the Centurion came from experiencing up close the events of the passion. This retreat is intended to give you the same experience of the Centurion, and through the Lord’s passion be able to proclaim in your own life, “Truly, this man was the Son of God!”

Exceptional Retreat Atmosphere

Indoor and outdoor reflection areas

In addition to the engaging sessions, there will be plenty of time to pray and reflect upon the words and God’s plan for you. For those who prefer doing this in a sacred space, there is a beautiful chapel and several indoor and outdoor reflection places. For those who are more active, there are trails cut through our 180 acres. The more ambitious can take a short drive or a long hike to Baker Mountain Park. Added to the outdoor space, there is a horseshoe pit, a bonfire, and even some corn-hole boards.

Great retreat lodging and fine dining

The lodging rooms were fully renovated in 2015. Each room has two full-sized beds and a private bath. Our dining area has an exceptionally qualified full-time chef with a wide range of culinary expertise. The dining room has also been recently renovated and has a 100% sanitation rating. The meeting room has cathedral ceilings and spectacular views.

Grace-filled encounters

For those who want to immerse themselves in the retreat, there will be several scheduled hours of Adoration and prayer. The chapel is open all night for those who want to have a more intimate encounter with the Lord. There will also be opportunities to share your faith with others during social times and during small and large group discussions.

A Retreat Schedule Just for You

Friday, March 22
4:00 PMCheck-in
5:30 PMEvening Prayer
6:30 PMDinner
7:30 PM1st Reflection: Setting the Stage
9:00 PMNight prayer
Saturday, March 23
7:00 AMAdoration with Morning Prayer
8:00 AMBreakfast
9:00 AM2nd Reflection: The Last Supper
11:00 AM3rd Reflection: Gethsemane
12:00 PMLunch
1:00 PM4th Reflection: The Trial
3:00 PM5th Reflection: Crucifixion and Burial
4:30 PMBlessing and Dismissal

Meet your retreat master

Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan

Ordained as a Catholic deacon in 2001, he has a wide range of experience facilitating groups and leading retreats for parishes, RCIA programs, and deacon candidates. For many years, he was the director of the deacon formation for the Diocese of Charlotte, assisting and guiding deacon candidates and their wives in discernment and formation. He has met all of the certification requirements in spiritual direction through Divine Mercy University, an institution of higher learning specializing in educating Catholic psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and spiritual directors. He currently is an adjunct to their spiritual direction residencies. As director of the Catholic Conference Center, he has devoted much of his time to spiritual direction, facilitating workshops, and leading retreats. Past retreats and workshops have included “Advent with Saint Ignatius”, “A Retreat with the Angels”, “Rediscovering Catholic Spirituality”, “Taken, Blessed, Broken, and Shared”, “Spiritual Exercises for a New Year”, and “How to Discern the Will of God”, plus a popular series of workshops called “Date Night with a Saint”. (see comments on past retreats). He enjoys writing, is a guest author for and The Deacon Digest, and shares many of his spiritual insights on his blog, My Morning Reflections.


Registration for the retreat includes one night, all retreat fees, and full-course meals from dinner Friday through Saturday lunch. The retreat price is as follows:

  • Shared room (two persons per room): $155 per person
  • Single, one person per room: $195.
  • Commuter (1 person, no lodging): $85

Cancellation Policy: A full refund will be granted up to two weeks before the retreat.